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Snake Charming

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This story is No. 2 in the series "A Drop in the Ocean Series". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The sequel to "A Drop in the Ocean".

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Multiple Pairings > RomanceechoFR1552170,344124870388,02023 Jan 036 Feb 06No

Going Under

*~* Going Under *~*

Classes were tough enough.

His class was especially difficult to get through. He was so handsome. What rotten luck to have a crush on a teacher. Especially when he thought you one of his students. No matter that she was quite lovely in blonde curls and cherub face. She could be Narcissa Malfoy at sixteen. Problem was Raven Hope actually was NOT sixteen. She didn't have sixteen year old thoughts under her full-body mask. She had very adult and grown-woman thoughts. Most of them centered around Professor Wyndam-Pryce too. A few of them centered around Professor Lupin and Professor Giles though. There were just too many attractive and unattached men with scholarly pursuits in her range. She was a sucker for the clever and bookish ones. Always had been.

Dawn Summers and Lily Rosenberg entered the class. The three exchanged a look. It had been a game of tension all week. Raven Hope was beginning to suspect that Professor Maclay had been right not to like this plan. It was HER plan, and Raven Hope was beginning not to like it. Though Draco, Dawn, and Lily had been moved, though Professor Snape kept eyes on them constantly, how safe were they really? Despite all rumors to the contrary, Professor Snape had but two eyes. Granted, he certainly wasn't the only professor watching, but they couldn't be watched all of the time without arousing suspicion. So again... how safe were they really?

She was frustrated because she had not been able to out Pansy's puppeteer. She suspected an upperclassman of a Slytherin. Naturally, but was it? As much as she hated to think it, until rather recently, Narcissa Malfoy had been on the other side of the burgeoning war. What if she were infiltrating to do damage from the inside out? It was a possibility.

She didn't know who the enemies were. Hell, she barely knew who she was any longer. She was losing herself in the illusion of sixteen and blonde. The only thing that kept her from going down in the deep end of the ocean of her illusion was her attraction to Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.

"Draco... I noticed you and your little girlfriends have been moved off to private rooms." Pansy said with a sneer as Draco entered the room. "Scared of something?"

"Clowns."

"Wh-what?"

"Clowns. I'm a bit disturbed by clowns. I just don't like them. I mean... what's under all that make-up anyhow?"

Raven Hope bit down to kill the giggle that threatened. Draco was such a Black as much as he was a Malfoy. In her opinion, he was beginning to embody the best and most interesting traits of both bloodlines.

Harry chuckled to himself as he slid into his seat next to Dawn. Malfoy was such an ass. Dawn had told Harry about the attempt on Draco's life. Ginny had told Ron... being that her life had been a bit in danger as well, and he was family. Ron had not been at his most understanding. Connor had stepped in and diffused the other boy's anger though with a rather wild explanation about people with destiny always being in danger and that instance was just more visible than others. He also said a lot of stuff about being angry about circumstances beyond one's control being extremely fruitless, and Connor said he ought to know because he'd been pissed off and without fruit for a while. Harry wasn't rightly sure what all Connor had said, but it worked. Ron had decided to be a bit more calm about the whole thing. He didn't like it, but he had ceased his ranting lunatic routine.

Harry gripped his quill and tried to concentrate on the beginning of the lecture he'd been tuning out. Everyone seemed particularly distracted today. Even the normally-attentive Hermione.

The hair on the back of Harry's neck prickled. He looked at Professor Wyndam-Pryce. He was lecturing about famous wizards who'd managed to be trapped by fairy rings. His voice sounded odd to Harry. Like he'd been slowed down or something. The air felt a bit... thick suddenly. It smelled weird too. Like rotten sweet. Like dead animal in the heat. But sugary. Sweet death.

The room seemed to still a bit, and Harry heard a different voice from the professor. He was still holding his text and pointing his wand at the chalk hovered by the board where it had been making notes. But nothing was moving now. Nothing except Harry, and his heart was pounding.

Then there was a whisper.

"Oh God. I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space... were it not that I have bad dreams."

Harry shivered. That was most definitely NOT Professor Wyndam-Pryce's voice. It was an unnatural and breathy whisper. The heaviness in the air seemed to press down. Something told Harry whatever had been gearing up to happen here was about to actually happen.

He started screaming like a banshee and threw himself at Dawn, tackling her to the floor. He didn't know how he knew it was about her. He just knew. Something within him had suggested he knock her out of the way, so Harry did.

"Harry!" Wesley shouted as he moved towards Harry and Dawn.

The room seemed to explode into chaos. There was a rumble, and the air prickled with gathering magic. The tension of a certain group of students over the past week paid off. They sprung into action almost immediately.

Raven Hope vaulted herself off of her desk at Professor Wyndam-Pryce. Draco drew his wand and yanked Lily back by the neck of her robes. There was an explosion in the room where Harry and Dawn had been sitting. It knocked several students back. Desks and chairs went flying. Some people where knocked out with the force of the debris.

Dawn looked up from under her protective Harry-coating. She gasped and gripped Harry's shoulders. Glory was perched on the charred remains of Dawn and Harry's desk.

"You didn't think I'd forgotten about you, didya, sweetie?"

Dawn could not keep her scream behind her teeth. Glory still scared the hell out of her. Harry let go of Dawn and stood.

"Harry, no." She grabbed at him, but it did no good.

He stared at Glory dead-on. "Get out of here."

He could see Draco moving around behind the hellgoddess with his wand drawn. Glory suddenly turned and lunged at Draco. She grabbed him by the throat. Dawn screamed again. Harry threw himself at Glory's back. Dawn screamed yet again. Glory just laughed. She tossed Draco away like he was a ragdoll. The blonde Slytherin toppled over desks and chairs before landing rather hard on the floor. Glory grabbed a handful of Harry's robes and yanked him into her face.

Then she promptly shifted into the form of young Tom Riddle of second year evil diary fame. Harry's eyes widened.

"Hello, Potter. We meet yet again."

"Put him down."

Everyone had been watching in frozen horror. Even Wesley and Raven Hope were standing off behind his desk, his arms were around her protectively.

But there was something new in the room... Lily looking a hell of a lot like Willow on a dark arts binge. But it made sense. They were essentially the same person. Lily was touched by a bit of darkness, so she was able to pull at it the way her other self could. It just seemed her anger was not giving her darkness any caution. It was full-on out and ready to do some damage. Her eyes were great black voids. Her skin was becoming more and more pale and vein-y by the moment. Her jet black hair and school robes danced in a wind that seemed to be absent from the rest of the room, and she was hovering about a foot from the floor.

"Well... look at what we..."

Riddle shifted back to Glory

"... have here."

She took a step towards Lily. Lily let some energy crackle across her hands before answering that step with a step of her own. They hellgoddess and the former vampire clashed, violently, and that when Dawn sprung into action.

*~*~*~*~*

Willow was handing back marked scrolls for Giles when she suddenly gasped the fell to the floor.

"Willow!" Giles rushed to her side.

She arched her back and started screaming her head off. Giles gripped her arms trying to still her. her body was twitching as if she was having a seizure. She was trying to say something but her body was jerking so wildly it was like she couldn't quite get the words out.

Pain. There was so much pain. Darkness too. her Lily was playing with something too big for her. it would swallow her whole. And Willow was currently feeling the effects, not Lily.

"Madam Pomfrey, someone! Now!"

Connor misunderstood. He scooped Willow off of the floor swiftly and out of Giles' hands. Then he lit out of the classroom like his ass was on fire. He even kicked the door off of its hinges to get out. Ginny Weasley's jaw gaped in shock. So did Giles'.

*~*~*~*~*

Snape was in the midst of giving instructions to his class of first years when he felt a disturbing wave of dizziness. He gripped his desk. Instantly he somehow knew something was wrong with his Willow and his adopted daughter. He brain worked quickly to locate where he filed the information of where Lily would be on this weekday at this time of day. He did not know exactly how he knew, but he just knew she was the one who was truly in trouble. Willow would be where her 'daughter' was. She was the one transmitting Lily's danger to him. Severus didn't like other people in his head, but if there was anyone he trusted for it, it was his Little Red.

"Class dismissed!" He shouted before storming out.

Upon hitting the hallway, Severus Snape broke into a dead run, wishing with every ounce of his being that apparation was allowed within Hogwarts. But Dumbledore took few chances in that area.

*~*~*~*~*

Wesley and the remaining students who were not out due to being hit with classroom furniture or trying to fight the Glory Riddle thing or being hexed by traitorous Slytherins within the class were behind his upturned desk. They were few now. They were also in a shoot-out between Pansy Parkinson and a handful of the rogue snakes. Lily Rosenberg and Dawn Summers were grappling with Glory. Dawn had sustained a wound to one of her hands that was beginning to bleed rather fiercely.

Ron and Hermione had managed to drag Harry and Draco behind the desk with the other students who were not in on the coup. They couldn't have done it without Neville's help though. Draco had caught a stray hex from Parkinson. His breathing was very shallow. Harry had been knocked out when he'd attacked the Glory Riddle thing with Dawn and Lily. The creature had tossed him rather harshly into a pile of chairs. Harry had a wound on his head that was bleeding quite a bit the way head wounds tend to do, but more importantly he was unconscious.

"Pansy!" Raven shouted. "Parkinson, don't do this, damn you!"

"It can't be helped, Hope! I thought you were one of us! I thought you were my friend!"

"I am your friend, you stupid cow! Stop this nonsense! How could you let that... that... thing into the school?!"

She wasn't certain, but she was fairly sure Pansy had allowed the Glory Riddle in.

"I have no choice!"

"You always have a choice, bitch!"

Dawn managed to get a leg between herself and Glory. She screamed as she kicked the hellgoddess away from her with all her might. Glory's nails scratched Dawn's arms. They ripped through her robe and shirt, tearing open the skin underneath. Dawn hissed in pain. Glory would have laughed, but Lily waved her hands and tossed the hellgoddess up into the ceiling. She then began banging that body into said ceiling over and over again.

As the force and speed of Glory being slammed against the ceiling increased, Lily started a slow scream that worked itself into full rage. After several dozen slams, the creature started to shift between Glory and Riddle in between blows.

Dawn stumbled back. Her arms failed a bit, and some blood hit the air. It twinkled. Then it grew. It was a portal. Dawn's eyes went wide. She felt some wind too. Oh God. It looked like one of those sucking wind portals that she thought only existed in the movies. This could be bad.

Pansy Parkinson's scream of surprise as she was sucked into the portal was earsplitting. Most of the other Slytherins who had been aiding her in the hexing of the teacher and the other students followed her into the suction, screaming also. Ok, scratch the 'could be'. This was really freaking bad. About a nine and a half on the really bad night on the Hellmouth sort of scale. Not quite Mayor turning into a giant snake kind of thing, but a far cry from running across a random vamp trying to rise and staking it before it can get out of the dirt.

Lily's torture of the Glory Riddle ended abruptly when the suction of the vortex-y portal grabbed the Slytherin girl. Lily started flying back into it. She attempted to grab and overturned desk, but failed.

Just as she was about to be sucked inside, Dawn screamed and threw her arms towards her friend. "LILY!"

Droplets of Dawn's blood hit the air again. The portal abruptly closed. Lily crashed to the floor with a bit of a roll. She ended her crashing in front of the doorway just as Severus Snape opened the door. The look on his face when he saw his adopted daughter in a crumpled heap at his feet was one none of the students had seen on his features before.

Snape immediately dropped to a crouch and rolled her onto her back. "Lily?"

He gasped because eye eyes were solid black voids. Blood tears were leaking from them.

"Dad.... I don't feel so good."

Severus hissed at her. The darkness in her just now sang to him so loud. She had been dripping in dark magic, and now she was coming down from that high. Violently so. Of course she didn't feel well. Hell, he didn't exactly feel well crouched next to her she had been so drenched in dark, but there was nothing for it. She needed him here, now, so here was where he would be. Severus lifted her into his arms. Lily whimpered.

"Shhh."

"Don't be mad."

"I am not mad."

"Your eye is twitching."

Of course it was. He was dying to take some of what was still seeping off her aura. Black magic was like a drug, and he'd once been one of its biggest addicts.

"Well, naturally." He replied in his most calm and condescending tone. "But that doesn't mean it's twitching about YOU. Don't be so self-centered. You must be getting that trait from Malfoy. I won't have it."

"So you aren't mad?"

"I didn't say that."

"There's gonna be a talk later, isn't there?"

"A very long one, Miss Rosenberg."

"If you're gonna lecture me and stuff like a parent, do you think we can change my name to Lily Snape?"

"Do not attempt to placate me."

"I'm not. I've been thinking on it for a while now."

"And you choose... now... to mention this?"

"Well... yeah."

"We will discuss it later. I think I should get you to Madam Pomfrey." He did not like this.

Severus Snape did not like it at all. He didn't like that she had gotten hurt. Again. He further did not like that she held too much sway with him. Already. She had the look of the woman he loved and she wanted to take on his name, wanted to be his child as much as she could. The most infuriating part of all of it was that he wanted it as well.

The Glory Riddle to that opportunity to jump out the window.

But not before the Glory part of it looked at Dawn and hissed. "I'll get you, sweetie, and your little boyfriend too."

Dawn's heart was racing and her breath was coming in harsh pants as she collapsed back against the wall she was already slumped against.

*~*~*~*~*

"I am beginning to think maybe this school ISN'T the safest place for you."

Dawn had awoken to his sister sitting on the edge of her bed in the infirmary and staring down at her.

"Buffy." Dawn sat up and threw herself into her sister's waiting arms.

"Well, I've missed you too."

"I... I... was... afraid." Dawn whispered.

"Afraid of what?"

"Glory was here, and... and I couldn't move at first. And she hurt Draco, and I still couldn't move. And she hurt Harry. I couldn't..."

"Shhhh. You think I don't get scared?"

"But-"

"Dawn, I'm glad you get scared."

"Buffy." Dawn said with a fair amount of exasperation.

"Fear will make you cautious. Cautious is good. I like cautious on my baby sister."

"I'm not a baby." Dawn said in a very pouting manner that was at odds with her statement.

"I just like that you didn't jump right in without a thought or a care, that's all."

"But, I could have..."

"Could have what? Gotten hurt sooner if you'd entered the fray sooner?"

"Buffy."

"If there's anything I know about, it's not beating yourself up over could-have-beens. You're beat up enough right now, Dawn. I mean, you're really not at your prettiest right now."

"Oh gee, thanks."

"Just providing some perspective here."

"Harry?"

"Your boyfriend and your friends are all fine. Even super scary Lily, but her creepy dad has been pacing a lot and grumbling."

"Professor Snape does that when he's upset."

"Look, Dawnie, they didn't just call me here because you got hurt."

"Oh?"

"You're kinda in some trouble." Buffy paused. "That portal you opened sucked up some students."

"I didn't do it on purpose!"

"I know, I know, Dawnie, but they're worried. They don't know where those students went-"

"Who cares! They were trying to hurt us! They let that Glory thing in the school!"

"Dawn..."

"It's not fair." She started crying. "I didn't mean to do it. It almost sucked up Lily too. Does that look like I wanted it?"

"I know you, Dawn. I know no matter how upset or any you were you wouldn't. But I know you. I know you better than anybody maybe. Just like you know things I would never do, I know what lines you won't cross, but they've got to figure out a way to get those students back."

"Even-"

"Even though they're not exactly the good guys. What if you accidentally sent them to a hell place, Dawnie? Would you do that to anyone? Even someone you hated?"

"Well... maybe if I really REALLY hated them. Like a whole, whole lot."

Buffy snickered.

"So what does this mean? Am I kicked out of school?"

"No. Though Dumbledore is having to fight it."

"I don't want to get him into trouble."

"Then you'd be willing to help find the students?"

"What?"

"Dumbledore sorta has a plan to get you out of this trouble. You have to help find the lost students, and then you have to go into an after-school program to help you control the portal stuff."

Dawn nodded. That didn't sound so bad. Harry had been taking lessons with McGonagall on how to use two wands. "Ok."

"It might hurt."

Dawn swallowed nervously. Hurt?

"If you don't want to, I'll take you away. We'll go home."

Dawn paused. She knew what she wanted to say, but she waited to make sure her words were just right. She didn't want to hurt her sister's feelings. "Buffy..."

"You aren't so sure Sunnydale is home anymore. You think that you belong here."

"How did you know?"

"Like I said... I know you."

"Thanks, Buffy."

"You belong wherever you think you belong, Dawn. And if it's here, then we have to make sure you have the tools and the knowledge you need to function here... without getting into accidental portal trouble."

"What do I have to do?"

Tara's voice interrupted them. "That's where Willow and I come in."

*~*~*

end part 47

AN: The creepy quote... Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2. And it was used in exactly the same way in a classroom scene in Nightmare on Elm Street.
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